What does my admissions decision mean?

The wait is over for many applicants as we send out decisions this week to students whose applications were complete by November 30. We dug back into the archives for this post on what your decision means:

Many of you have already seen you admissions decision in MyPennState; and for those still waiting, decisions are rolling out every day. To help you understand what some of the admissions decisions mean, here are the most common questions we receive from students about them:

I applied for fall at University Park, but I was offered admission for summer – what does this mean?
Penn State does not automatically review all applications for summer admission. When completing the online application, you can indicate if you would like to be reviewed for the summer session, in the event we are unable to offer you admission for the fall semester. If you indicate your interest in summer, we will address that, if necessary, during the review process.

So, if you apply for fall at University Park, we review your application for the fall semester first. If we are unable to offer admission for the fall, we then review the application for summer, which is slightly less competitive than the fall semester and gives students another chance to start at the University Park campus.

If you are accepted for summer, it is mandatory that you come to the University Park campus and take classes during summer session. You live on campus for the six-week semester and take two actual Penn State courses – they are not orientation courses or nonessential courses, but rather courses for your general education requirements or your intended degree. You then have a two-week break, after which you return to University Park and jump right into the fall semester (with 6-7 credits and a great familiarity with campus already!). Students starting in the summer may wish to consider taking part in LEAP, a summer experience specifically designed for new first-year students.

I received an offer of admission to my alternate campus – what does this mean?
When completing the application, we ask students to provide us with an alternate starting campus, so if we are unable to offer them admission to their first-choice campus, we can review their application for their alternate choice.

If you provided an alternate choice campus and were offered admission to that campus, it means that we were unable to offer you admission to your primary campus of interest, but that you can start your Penn State education at your alternate campus. Students can begin almost all of our 160+ programs at any Penn State campus, spending the first two years at that campus and then transitioning to another campus, typically University Park, to complete their degree. Over half of our students take advantage of this path, which we call the 2+2 plan, to earn their Penn State degree. Check the blog later this week for a post on the 2+2 plan.

My decision says that I am unable to have the campus I requested, but that you can consider me for admission to other Penn State campuses. What does that mean?
This decision means that we feel you can be successful at Penn State, but we don’t have enough information to continue reviewing your application for admission.

If you did not provide us with an alternate campus choice when completing the application, this is how we reach out to you for more options. This message means that we have reviewed your application and could not offer you admission for your primary campus choice, and without an alternate campus to consider, we could not take any further action with your application.

If you see this message and still want to be considered for Penn State, please call us at 814-865-5471 to discuss your options.

We hope this helps answer a few of your common questions regarding our decisions. But, if you need further information about your decision, please contact us. And if you are a student accepted to any of our 20 campuses, be sure to login to MyPennState to learn about your program, campus, and the Accepted Student Programs available to you!

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Schreyer Honors College application deadline

The deadline to apply to Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College is just around the corner on January 15. Schreyer is one of the best college honors programs in the country, and it’s open to students at all of Penn State’s campuses in nearly all of our majors.

Schreyer Honors College medals

Schreyer Scholars receive a medal at a special graduation ceremony held each spring at University Park.

Students in the program receive a $4,500 per year academic scholarship, access to smaller classes, and more. Schreyer Scholars also complete an undergraduate thesis, which can be a great stepping stone to graduate school.

If those benefits sound intriguing to you, the Schreyer application is available in MyPennState. There is a $30 application fee, and some additional essays and letters of recommendation are required.

Honors college applications are reviewed separately from the regular application for admission to Penn State, so you can still apply to Schreyer if you have already been admitted to Penn State or you are still waiting for a decision. Applying to Schreyer will not hold up your regular application.

Visit the Schreyer website for more information on the application process.

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We’re back!

Hello 2015! Undergraduate Admissions is back in the office and ready to keep reviewing applications, answering questions, and processing documents.

We have been off for almost 2 weeks, so we ask you to give us some time to start answering emails and updating MyPennState statuses upon our return.

First-year students that had complete applications by the November 30 priority filing date and have not received a decision yet (which is the vast majority of applicants) should expect their admission decision in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience!

We are also coming up on important filing date for first-year international students – February 1. We are working hard to process the documents we have received from international students prior to this priority filing date. Please continue to check your MyPennState profile for updates, but remember to allow a few weeks for the processing of all received application materials.

Additionally, any first-year students that have received an offer of admission can register for one of our Accepted Student Programs through MyPennState. We hope you consider coming to campus and learning more about your future life as a Penn Stater.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year … and we hope 2015 becomes the year you decide to attend Penn State. Sounds like a good resolution to us!

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Closed for the holidays …

Decorated door in Shields Building

The holiday door on one of our office suites!

Happy Holidays!

The Undergraduate Admissions Office will be closed from Wednesday, December 24 through Sunday, January 4. We will be available at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 5.

Since the office is closed, we will not be processing documents, sharing decisions, or answering phone calls and emails during that period. If you do send us documents or emails during that time frame, we will begin working on them upon our return to the office. Please allow some time for us to acknowledge the receipt of documents or respond to any inquiries we may have received during that time.

Any student with a complete application prior to the November 30 priority filing date who has not already received a decision should expect to hear about their admission in mid-to-late January.

Thank you for applying to Penn State. We hope you have a great holiday season and we will see you in 2015!

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Visit Penn State this Spring!

Our tour guides are ready for another great semester of campus visits!

Our tour guides are ready for another great semester of campus visits!

With just a few weeks left in 2014, University Park campus visits for the spring semester (January-early May) went live on our website today. This includes prospective student visits, accepted student programs, and events for transfer and change of campus students.

So, weather you are a high school junior, a senior with an offer of admission, or a transfer student, we have something for you! Visits typically include an information session, campus tour, and complimentary lunch in a dining facility on campus. Please check the event description for specifics on the session you would like to attend.

In case of inclement weather, please stay tuned to Penn State’s news site for information about campus closings. Generally speaking, visits happen as scheduled unless the University is closed. We like to think of them as good preparation for navigating Happy Valley in the snow as a student!

Registration fills quickly, so sign up now to reserve your spot. We hope to see you on campus!

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What happens to your application once it’s submitted?

Our colleague Day did a great job of answering that question last year, complete with photos as the applications move through our office – check it out!

Remember that it can take a week or more for documents to be added to your application once they arrive in our office. As long as your materials were sent prior to November 30, your application will be considered complete for our priority filing date. We will update your MyPennState profile as documents are processed, so do not worry if you do not see a change of status right away.

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The end of November is near …

We are rapidly approaching our priority filing deadline for first-year domestic students: November 30. Those students who submit a complete application by this date have their best chance of admission to their first choice campus and/or major. But what do we consider a complete application? We need just a few pieces:

      1. Your online application
      2. Official high school transcript (with counselor form)
      3. Official SAT or ACT (with writing) scores from the testing agency

If you have already taken care of these items, be sure that you log in to MyPennState to verify that your application is complete before we reach November 30. You may have requested the additional application materials be sent to Penn State, but that doesn’t mean that they have arrived, and MyPennState is the best place to confirm this information. Be sure to check your status!

Additionally, we ask that you be patient if you just requested your transcripts be sent within the last week. While we try to process documents as quickly as possible, it does take a little time to acknowledge the receipt of transcripts, so your MyPennState may not update for a 2-3 weeks. We are receiving thousands of transcripts and do not update a student’s status automatically upon receipt — there is a delay due to processing.

And for those of you who know your application is complete already, it may still take some time for you to hear a decision from Penn State as we process all of the applications we receive prior to the November 30 filing date. Any student who applied by November 30 should expect a decision by the end of January, with most students receiving their decision in January.

Thank you to everyone who has already applied to Penn State, and best of luck to those of you who are completing the application. And remember — November 30 is a recommended filing date. Penn State operates on rolling admissions after that date, so you can still apply after November 30 if you are interested in Penn State. If you have any further questions about your application or the application process, please contact us next week.

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Happy, happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful for at the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Not only are we watching a new class of students enjoying their first semester at Penn State, but we are busy working on thousands of applications from prospective students hoping to begin their Penn State experience in the near future.

For those of you still working on the application — or if you have any questions about your application or the application process — please note that we will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28. You will be able to contact us via phone again on Monday, December 1, starting at 8:00 a.m. EST. Any emails sent over the Thanksgiving weekend will be returned as soon as possible, but please be patient as we review all of them!

We understand that our November 30 deadline falls on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend this year — be sure to submit your online application by that date and make sure that you have sent us your transcript and official test scores prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Any documents that we receive in our office on Monday, December 1 will still be considered as meeting the application deadline.

We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. And to those of you still working on your Penn State application, best of luck and we look forward to receiving it soon! Happy Thanksgiving!

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As we get closer to the November 30 application filing date, you may be wondering what

Emily Duke (left) will be sharing her day on November 10. Pauline Janeo (right) will be sharing her day on November 6.

Emily Duke (left) will be sharing her day on November 10. Pauline Janeo (right) will be sharing her day on November 6.

it’s like to be a current Penn State student. We are asking our social media interns to show you just that in the coming days.

Follow the hashtag #mypsuday on Thursday (November 6) and Monday (November 10) to see what a typical day is like for social media interns Pauline Janeo and Emily Duke. Pauline is a junior in the Smeal College of Business and Emily is a senior in the College of Communications.

They will be taking over our social media accounts as they head to classes, club meetings, and other activities. You can also ask them questions about what it’s like to be a Penn Stater.

Hope you can follow along!

P.S. If you can’t join them on their #mypsuday, be sure to check out what they are up to on the Lion Life blog.

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Happy November!

There is no denying it—at least in central Pennsylvania, there isn’t. Fall is here, and the weather is getting colder.

But the ushering in of November turns the heat up on the college admissions process. At Penn State, it marks the start of the final weeks leading up to our November 30 priority filing date. We recommend that all first-year students submit their complete application to us by that date.

We know—you still have a few more weeks to apply and send us your application materials. But in order to have your best chance of admission to your first-choice campus and/or program, we recommend getting your application, official high school transcript, and official SAT or ACT scores to us by November 30.

Why risk missing this date? In just a few simple steps, you can make sure we have your application, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you sent everything to us on time. All you need to do is:

      1. Apply online through MyPennState.
      2. See you high school counselor and have him/her send us your high school transcript and the counselor form that you are provided when you complete your Penn State application.
      3. Contact the College Board (code #2660) or the ACT (code #3656) to request your official test scores to be sent to Penn State.

If we receive all of your materials by November 30, you will have an admission decision by the end of January.

We encourage all interested first-year students to apply by November 30, but if you cannot for any reason, we continue to accept applications after that date.

Best of luck this month as you complete your Penn State application—we look forward to receiving it!

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